Nearly 70% of students who completed The Nora Project programs prioritize caring for others above personal happiness.

CHICAGO, IL, February 19, 2020 /Neptune100/ — While many recent studies indicate a decline in empathy and caring for others among today’s youth, nearly 70% of students who completed The Nora Project programs prioritized caring for others above personal happiness and achievement. This good news story is one of many positive outcomes shown in The Nora Project’s recently released Annual Evaluation Report from the 2018-2019 school year. Conducted by Evaluation for Change, Inc. survey data was collected from students of all abilities, teachers and parents of students with disabilities. The report concludes that the program is exceeding its goals and making a significant impact.

Other key findings of the report include that 80% of students indicated some way that The Nora Project positively influenced their classroom culture, such as students being kinder to each other, including classmates in activities more often, helping each other more, or being better listeners. In addition, at the beginning of the program, only 13% of typically-developing students stated that they felt it was “Always True” that they had things in common with their peers with disabilities. By the end of the program, 44% of non-disabled students felt this way–more than three times as many. Almost all participating teachers reported that because of their participation in The Nora Project, their students demonstrated greater empathy toward peers with and without disabilities.

Studies show that as boys move from childhood into middle adolescence, their Affective Empathy scores decrease, while girls’ scores increase. However, for Nora Project participants, boys made more gains in Affective Empathy Scores than girls from pre-program to post. Research has shown that children and adolescents who score high on Affective Empathy bully less and have better friendship qualities. The Nora Project data suggests that its program may be an effective anti-bullying tool, especially for boys.

“We’re overwhelmed by the outcomes of the 2018-2019 school year. To hear from teachers, students, and parents alike about the transformative impact of our classroom programs is heart-warming and affirming,” says Lauren Schrero Levy, the Executive Director of The Nora Project. “It goes to show that when we teach students to be curious about differences instead of afraid of them, and give them the skills they need to make connections, it elevates everyone’s feeling of belonging.” What asked what the greatest takeaway of the report is, Schrero Levy responded, “Inclusion is truly the rising tide that lifts all boats. We’re thrilled that our data proves that to the world.”

To view the full report, please visit:

About The Nora Project
The Nora Project aims to normalize difference, demystify disability, and promote meaningful connections between students and their peers with disabilities. Our award-winning school programming allows students to explore disability, adaptation, and friendship in exciting and innovative ways. Since its founding in 2016, The Nora Project has grown from one school to more than fifty, with teachers challenging students to practice empathy, exercise moral courage, and recognize the fundamental truth that as human beings, we are all more alike than different.